Saturday, September 20, 2014
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WWE Raw results (08/11/14): Eight observations from this week's episode

Due to some DVR issues, I wasn’t able to catch the latest episode of WWE Raw in its entirety. However, I did see the majority of the show and pieced together what I could of what happened to miss.

WWE Raw results (08/11/14): Eight observations from this week's episode

Hulk Hogan. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
Hulk Hogan. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Due to some DVR issues, I wasn’t able to catch the latest episode of WWE Raw in its entirety. However, I did see the majority of the show and pieced together what I could of what happened to miss.

So, when reading through my observations, if you notice a major detail that I may have missed, that is the reason why.

What I do know was that Monday’s Raw was the final episode before SummerSlam this coming Sunday. The WWE’s job with this particular show was to provide one last sales pitch for the show.

In my opinion, the WWE did a good job of this with the main event between John Cena and Brock Lesnar. As far as the rest of the show goes, the WWE didn’t do as good of a job.

Before we dive into any details, here are the full match results from what took place at the Moda Center in Portland, Ore.:

- Roman Reigns def. RybAxel via disqualification

- Seth Rollins def. Rob Van Dam

- Jack Swagger def. Cesaro

- Eva Marie def. AJ Lee

- Heath Slater def. Dolph Ziggler via count-out

- Randy Orton def. Sheamus

Now, let’s dive into my observations:

Daniel Bryan having an affair?

All of the good feelings I had about the Stephanie McMahon-Brie Bella storyline went away during Monday’s show when the WWE decided to put on an angle where McMahon paid off Bryan’s personal trainer to say that she was having an affair with him.

Really, WWE? Was this really necessary?

You couldn’t just leave well enough alone, could you? You had to add some extra mustard to that mustard sandwich, didn’t you?

To be fair, this wasn’t all bad. Bella putting McMahon in the Yes lock was pretty entertaining, as was McMahon’s face while she was locked in it.

It also made sense for McMahon to have Bella arrested, just like Bella did to her a couple of weeks ago. That’s where my positive feelings about this angle end.

Sometimes, we don’t need the extra layer to get excited for a match. All we need to know was that two people don’t like each other and that they want to settle their differences in the ring. There are times where personal issues work, and if it does work it usually makes for a hotter feud.

This was not one of those circumstances, in my eyes.

Wasn’t this feud already personal enough? McMahon has beat up Bellas’s sister and made her husband’s life a living hell for months. Apparently, that wasn’t enough. Nope, the WWE had to add more.

All it did was take me out of the moment and ruined my suspension of disbelief. Sometimes, stories become too far-fetched. This was a prime example of that.

Brock Lesnar crashes Hulk Hogan’s birthday celebration

Hulk Hogan celebrated his 61st birthday in front of the WWE Universe Monday night. All of his buddies and former rivals joined him in the celebration.

“Mean” Gene Okerlund and Jimmy Hart introduced Hogan and then showed him a video package, which looked like it got Hogan a little choked up.

After the video and a quick Hogan promo, out came Ric Flair, Paul Orndorff, Portland’s own Roddy Piper and Hogan’s running buddies in the New World Order, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. Hogan even tore off his classic red and yellow colors for the black and white nWo attire, which was a pretty cool moment.

Business picked up quickly, however, when Brock Lesnar’s music hit, which was pretty awesome. What was even more awesome was seeing Hall attempt to hide behind Okerlund.

Lesnar walking into the ring with all of those legends was pretty damn epic, especially when Lesnar locked eyes on Piper. Boy, imagine Lesnar going against Piper in his prime. Lesnar would surely destroy him, but I’m sure Piper would have went down in a blaze of glory.

How about when Lesnar locked on Flair, who looked like he was dying to be 30 years younger and carrying the NWA World title, so he could find out if Lesnar was good enough to be the man.

What about Nash? Nash is still in pretty good shape given that he is over the age of 50 and is still pretty intimidating, even with a head full of gray hair.

John Cena eventually came out sporting his new red-and-yellow shirt to make the save, but I honestly didn’t want him to. I was hoping for some verbal interaction between Paul Heyman and some of the legends in the ring before any of that.

Paul Heyman rap was awesome

Heyman did get to use the microphone earlier in the night, however, as he used one of Cena’s old tricks against him in the form of a rhyme.

That’s right, Heyman, the Jewish guy from New York, busted out a rhyme on national television. As an avid rap fan myself, I must say Heyman’s skills were quite good. Was he Jay-Z? Of course not, that would be preposterous. But it was pretty entertaining nonetheless.

Dean Ambrose surprises Seth Rollins

A feud that was in desperate need of some heat was the one between Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins.

It was really hot heading into Battleground, but has been cooled off considerably during the road to SummerSlam, which was I thought would happen.

The WWE feels as though it has bigger fish to fry with SummerSlam in the form Cena versus Lesnar and even McMahon versus Bella, which meant Rollins versus Ambrose was going to get lost in the shuffle.

The feud was given some life again Monday when Ambrose surprised Rollins by bursting out of a big present that was on stage to celebrate Hogan’s birthday bash. Rollins figured Ambrose was in there, but talked himself out of it.

It turned out he should have trusted his instincts because Ambrose came bursting out of that gift and commenced to laying a whooping on Rollins. Rollins managed to escape through the fans.

I still think the match between these two will steal the show at SummerSlam, which I hope will make up for the poor build in recent weeks.

Jack Swagger beat Cesaro?

If somebody had told me the night after WrestleMania that Jack Swagger would make Cesaro tap out on live television in a couple of months, I would have said you were crazy.

I would have also told you that Cesaro had a ton of momentum and was firmly in the WWE’s plans to become a big star. And that Swagger was on his way down the card and into obscurity.

But lo and behold Swagger made Cesaro tap out Monday night. I would have bet you any amount of money that Cesaro would have been the Real American to make the other look like a jobber, but I was clearly wrong.

I think Swagger is talented, but Cesaro’s ceiling is much higher than his. I guess there’s still time to rectify this issue, but man I hate to see obvious talent just squandered like that.

Eva Marie beat AJ Lee?

Eva Marie, a person who probably shouldn’t even be having televised matches at this point, beat AJ Lee, who is in theory the best women’s wrestler in the WWE because she is the Divas Champion.

Wow!

Even worse, Marie won the match with the most devastating finishing move in the WWE: the distraction roll up. Even the biggest stars have fallen victim to the distraction roll up and Lee was its latest victim.

Last week, it was Rollins when he lost to Heath Slater. The WWE uses the finish almost every week, and in almost every single feud imaginable.

Randy Orton’s flying RKO

I know Randy Orton has done it a handful of times over the years, but every time he hits the RKO out of mid-air, it’s still pretty damn impressive.

The timing of it is what gets me out my seat. The timing has to be next to perfect in order to make that move look seamless. If Orton mistimes it, his opponent will just flop on the ground and will make the entire match look stupid.

But Orton is so much of a professional that he knows exactly when to go for it.

Orton was in the middle of match No. 1,681 with Sheamus, which no one was excited to see. But the finish made up for all of that.

Heath Slater won again!

For the second week in a row, Heath Slater somehow won a match. Last week he used the distraction roll up to beat Rollins. This week, he used the second-most devastating finishing move in the WWE to beat Dolph Ziggler: the distraction count-out.

I thought Slater was on his back on the jobber bus after last week, but it seems like he may have himself a little gimmick here by picking up these cheap victories.

Vaughn Johnson Sports Producer
About this blog
The Squared Circle is a one-stop shop of pro wrestling news, recaps and observations. You can also enjoy interviews with some of your favorite stars from the world of professional wrestling both nationally and locally. Reach Vaughn at vjohnson@philly.com.

Vaughn Johnson Sports Producer
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